Celtics

Celtics' Big Three blueprint doesn't work for all teams

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Celtics' Big Three blueprint doesn't work for all teams

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

NEW YORK When the Boston Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to a roster that featured Paul Pierce back in 2007, no one knew for sure how this Big Three unit would mesh.

During the season, they dominated. And while they had their share of ups and downs in the playoffs that season, the end result - Banner 17 - proved that you could indeed mesh three great talents to form one great team.

Well, that blueprint has been copied in Miami and most recently, here in New York.

So far?

Let's just say things haven't quite worked out the way most anticipated.

The Miami Heat did not steamroll through the league the way many predicted.

In fact, they have been at their worst against the best teams and are currently third in the East behind Boston and Chicago.

And the New York Knicks have shown little to no improvement in terms of wins and losses, since adding Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey to a team being led by Amar'e Stoudemire.

The Celtics' Big Three have said many times that the way they came together so quickly, doesn't necessarily mean it'll happen like that all the time.

"It's going to be a process for them," said Paul Pierce, speaking about the Knicks. "That's why they're inconsistent. You can't just put a team together and go out there and say, 'Play well,' regardless of the talent. They have to develop chemistry, a feel for one another. Where you like the ball, where you like to get help at defensively. It's a process."

Making that more difficult, Pierce added, has been the fact that the Knicks and their Big Three came together just a few weeks ago.

In 2007, Pierce along with Allen and Garnett had an entire training camp to get familiar with how to play with one another.

"You don't know when that day will come when everything will click and things are running smoothly," Pierce said. "You have to continue to work, practice and eventually the light will turn on eventually."

While Celtics coach Doc Rivers acknowledges that it does take time, the success of joining three superstars ultimately falls on the players - at least, that's how it worked with his Big Three.

"At the end of the day, they wanted it work," Rivers said of Boston's Big Three. "They wanted it to work. You hear it a lot, but I don't know if everyone means it."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Knicks, Nets reportedly in mix for Kyrie-Butler combo in '19

Knicks, Nets reportedly in mix for Kyrie-Butler combo in '19

Remember those rumors of Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler teaming up in free agency next year? Well, that buzz is back and Boston isn't the rumored destination.

Two league sources told Business Insider that the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could be well-positioned to land the two players, with one source saying the chatter is "substantial."

"It wouldn't surprise me if either New York team or potentially both New York teams hit it big next summer," one source said.

That echoes a Chicago Sun-Times report from July which said the Celtics and Timberwolves stars had been talking about how they could team up. Each player can opt out after this season and Irving has made it known he'll be heading to free agency. The Kyrie-to-the-Knicks rumors have been around for a while. 

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Paul Pierce says if Celtics learn to sacrifice, they'll win title

Paul Pierce says if Celtics learn to sacrifice, they'll win title

If there's anyone who knows what it takes to be a champion, it's Paul Pierce. So when the Celtics legend speaks, it would be best for the current team's young stars to heed his words.

According to a report from Boston.com, Pierce touched on what this current squad needs to learn if they want to hang the team's eighteenth championship banner from the rafters of TD Garden.

"When you have that type of talent, they're going to have to learn to sacrifice," Pierce said at a charity event in Brookline on Friday morning. "Not everybody is going to be able to accomplish maybe the individual goals they want to accomplish, but the team's greater goal should be all that matters."

The Celtics, who have made the Eastern Conference Finals the past two seasons but were vanquished both times by LeBron James' Cavaliers, saw perhaps their greatest obstacle in competing for a championship disappear when James signed with the Lakers in free agency. With one of the most talented rosters in the NBA, Boston has built a team capable of getting over the hump and winning a title.

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"You have to sacrifice if you are truly committed to winning a championship," Pierce added. "They're going to win a lot of games, but unless they sacrifice--because we know they're going to be better than probably what their numbers show--if they can sacrifice they'll win a championship this year. Because the talent is definitely there."

If there is one player on the current roster who can show that championship mentality to young stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, it's Kyrie Irving. However, much of the talk surrounding Irving, who won a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016, this offseason has been about him potentially leaving Boston after the season in free agency.

"Kyrie is a competitor," Pierce said. "He's won a championship. He knows -- if they win again he'll get whatever contract he wants. He's an extraordinary talent and he knows that winning trumps everything. If you win, everybody wins."

The Celtics start their quest for their eighteenth title on October 16 when they host Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers.